University of Oulu

Väisänen, P., Usoskin, I., & Mursula, K. (2021). Seven decades of neutron monitors (1951–2019): Overview and evaluation of data sources. Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, 126, e2020JA028941.

Seven decades of neutron monitors (1951–2019) : overview and evaluation of data sources

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Author: Väisänen, Pauli1; Usoskin, Ilya1,2; Mursula, Kalevi1
Organizations: 1Space Physics and Astronomy Research Unit, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.3 MB)
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Language: English
Published: American Geophysical Union, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-05-12


The worldwide network of neutron monitors (NMs) is the primary instrument to study cosmic‐ray variability on time scales of up to 70 yr. Since the 1950s, 147 NMs with publicly available data have been in operation, and their records are archived in and distributed through different repositories and data sources. A comprehensive analysis of all available NM data sets (300 data sets from 147 NMs) is performed here to check the quality and consistency of the data. The data sources include World Data Center for Cosmic Rays, the Neutron Monitor Database, the Pushkov Institute of Terrestrial Magnetism, Ionosphere, and Radiowave Propagation (IZMIRAN) and individual station/institution databases. It was found that The data from the same NM can be nonidentical and of different quality in different sources. We give and tabulate here a recommendation for the optimal data source of each NM. We also present here a list of 29 “prime” stations with the longest and most reliable data. Verified data sets for these prime stations are provided as supplementary information.

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Series: Journal of geophysical research. Space physics
ISSN: 2169-9380
ISSN-E: 2169-9402
ISSN-L: 2169-9380
Volume: 126
Issue: 5
Article number: e2020JA028941
DOI: 10.1029/2020JA028941
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 115 Astronomy and space science
Funding: This work was partially supported by the Academy of Finland (project No. 321882 ESPERA) and by the Finnish Cultural Foundation (grant number 00191177).
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 321882
Detailed Information: 321882 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Dataset Reference: The prime data set used in this study is archived at to FAIR guidelines. We acknowledge all the databases and station teams for their data sets that are available in the sources/links described in Section 3. These include the following: NMDB database (, founded under the European Union’s FP7 program (contract no. 213007); IZMIRAN database ( operated by the Pushkov Institute of Terrestrial Magnetism, Ionosphere and Radiowave Propagation; WDCCR database ( operated by the Solar‐Terrestrial Environment Laboratory, Nagoya University; The Bartol Research Institute neutron monitor program (∼pyle/bri_table.html) which is supported by National Science Foundation grant ATM‐0000315; Apatity station ( operated by The Polar Geophysical Institute (Murmansk region, Russia); Jungfraujoch station ( operated by the Physikalisches Institut, University of Bern, Switzerland; Lomnický Štit station (, which is supported by the IEP SAS in Košice, by the APVV grant agency project APVV‐15‐0194 and by VEGA, project no. 2/0026/16; Mexico City Cosmic Ray Observatory ( operated by the Universidad National Autónoma de Mexico (UNAM); Stations ( operated by the Center for Space Research at the Potchefstroom Campus of the North‐West University; Yakutsk and Tixie bay stations ( operated by the Yakutsk Scientific Center of SB RAS, funded by RFBR Grant 04‐07‐90,054; Oulu cosmic rays station ( is operated by Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory of the University of Oulu, Finland; as well as All other individual stations mentioned in this work that are included in the databases (NMDB, IZMIRAN or WDCCR).
Copyright information: © 2021. The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.